Poplar Stair Treads
Poplar is one of the fastest growing trees and seems to produce a consistent hardwood that can be used by stair builders and woodworkers, for a variety of different things. However, Poplar is rarely used for stair treads that aren't going to be painted.
Poplar has a cream color with inconsistent colors of
yellow and green running through out the wood. This makes it difficult
to use for stair treads, unless you cut out all of the blemishes and
then glue the individual pieces together, to form each stair tread.
Gluing = Excellent, I've glued plenty of Poplar together and haven't ever had a problem with it. It's definitely an easy wood to work with and cut.
Sanding = Excellent, since Poplar is one of the softer hardwoods, it is relatively easy to sand. However, be careful using power sanders, because they can easily gouge into the softer hardwoods.
Staining = Poor, due to the inconsistencies and color variations that run throughout different areas of the lumber, it makes a relatively poor wood to stain. Even though it can be stained, it will usually need to be finished with some type of sealer, otherwise it could fade fast, especially outdoors.
Nailing = Good, even though I have had difficulties nailing Poplar, it's relatively easy to nail and screw. However, be careful when nailing around the edges, because it can split or crack.
Wear And Tear = Fair, believe it or not, Poplar is used for a lot for stair treads that are painted. If you use the right paint, the paint will actually protect any lumber that's used, providing you long-lasting stair treads. Don't forget that painted stair treads will need to be painted regularly, otherwise you will start to see signs of wear and tear, through out the staircase.
Janka Hardness Scale = 540 it's definitely one of the softer hardwoods.